Monday, 11 December, 2017

US plane shoots down Syrian Air Force jet after partner forces bombed

Klara Reqa Klara Reqa from Raqqa is a braveheart fighting for justice. VOA
Howard Terry | 19 June, 2017, 01:42

When a Syrian army SU-22 jet later dropped bombs near the US backed forces, it was immediately shot by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet, the statement said.

US -backed coalition forces shot down a pro-Syrian regime fighter jet on Sunday after it bombed the Syrian Democratic Forces-held town of Ja-Din, the coalition said.

Downing the Syrian warplane comes as the Syrian army is advancing against IS in the southern and western countryside of Raqqa, while the US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are fighting IS inside Raqqa, the de facto capital of IS.

The Syrian Armed Forces, meanwhile, said that one of its warplanes was attacked in the Raqqa countryside, "while it was carrying out a combatant mission against ISIS terrorist organization".

Coalition aircraft in a show of force stopped the initial advance.

"The attack comes at a time when the Syrian army is making strides in the war on IS terror group, which is collapsing in the Syrian desert thanks to the progress of the Syrian army and allied forces", the military statement said.

The Syrian Democratic Forces managed to capture the Bitani District, Sunday, after a short battle with the Islamic State (ISIL).

This appears to mark a new escalation of the conflict.

Just hours earlier, the USA bombed Syrian government and allied troops inside a protected zone in that area, and marked a sharp escalation in the skirmishes between the coalition and pro-Syrian government forces there.

Since the US-backed rebels failed to slow the Syrian Army down in southern Syria, the United States is now relying on the Kurdish forces to obstruct Damascus expansion eastward. Iran-backed Shiite militias, along with other pro-Syrian government forces have steadily advanced around Tanf despite repeated warnings from the US military. "The coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend coalition or partner forces from any threat".

Following the downing of the Syrian plane, clashes between regime troops and coalition-backed fighters broke out in two villages some 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of the city of Raqa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

- Editor's note: This story will be updated.

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